Gov. Reynolds selects Adam Gregg as lieutenant governor
Citing his broad knowledge of state government and his proven, innovative governing style, Gov. Kim Reynolds today selected Adam Gregg as her lieutenant governor. Gregg, 34, who until today was the State Public Defender, will serve in an acting capacity, fulfilling all duties of the lieutenant governor’s office through the January 2019 inauguration.
“I have worked closely with Adam since he became our office’s legislative liaison and policy advisor in 2013, and have been consistently impressed with his energy, work ethic and demeanor as he worked through a number of legislative priorities for us,” Reynolds said. “Adam is someone who understands the responsibilities of the executive branch, someone who has worked closely with the Legislature and someone who has a strong relationship with our courts system. There is nobody better equipped with the skills, knowledge, experience and relationships than Adam to serve Iowans in this important role.”
Gregg has excelled when it comes to service for his fellow Iowans. He won bipartisan praise as the head of the State Public Defender’s Office, an agency with about 220 employees and a budget of approximately $60 million. Among his accomplishments in that role: creating a new wrongful conviction unit that ensures we aren’t jailing innocent Iowans; modernizing the office, ensuring that legitimate attorney claims are paid quickly and fraudulent claims are detected; and working with the judicial branch to support drug, mental health and veterans courts, which are innovative specialty courts that focus on treatment and recovery rather than punishment and imprisonment.
In addition to his executive branch leadership and work in the courts, Gregg also served as the Governor’s Office’s top legislative advisor from December 2012- June 2014. In this role, he helped in the crafting and adoption of the governor’s bipartisan budget and policy agenda over the course of the 85th General Assembly. He assisted in navigating through the Legislature a balanced budget, transformational education reform and the largest tax cut in Iowa history, among other priorities.
“I am honored and humbled by the trust that Governor Reynolds has put in me,” Gregg said. “Over the last six years, she has revolutionized and rejuvenated the role of lieutenant governor. To follow her in that role, and to serve alongside her as she now leads this state, is the honor of a lifetime. Every day, I will serve Iowans as we connect them to better jobs, better skills training, better schools and continue balancing our state’s budget every step of the way.”
Gregg graduated in 2009 with high honors from Drake University Law School, where he received the institution’s prestigious Opperman Scholarship. While there, he earned the faculty’s William and Ellen Cooney Hoye Award, given to the individual who demonstrates the greatest promise as an advocate, public servant and practitioner. During law school, Gregg conducted legal research in his capacity as an Iowa Supreme Court Scholar with Chief Justice Mark Cady and was a staff member for the Drake Law Review.
Gregg earned his B.A. from Central College in 2006, graduating first in his class with degrees in political science and history. His experience at Central College included internships with the U.S. Dept. of Defense, U.S. Congress and United Kingdom Parliament.
Gregg is a graduate of West Sioux High School and a native of Hawarden, Iowa. He resides in Johnston with his wife, Cari, and their two children, a six-year-old son and a four-year-old daughter. He and his family are active members and volunteers in Johnston River of Life Methodist Church and Meals from the Heartland events.
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Q: What does it mean that Lt. Gov. Gregg will serve in an acting capacity?
A: He will perform all the duties of the Office of Lt. Governor, but for the next 18 months he will not be in the gubernatorial line of succession, which will be the only discernable difference in the position.
Q: What are the duties of the Office of Lt. Governor?
A: In 1988, Iowans amended the State Constitution so that the governor and lieutenant governor run and serve as a team rather than as individuals. By doing that, Iowans recognized what was already understood: that a lieutenant governor is much more than a governor-in-waiting. They are an active and vital part of the executive branch, leading state initiatives and helping the governor manage 17,000 employees and a $7.2 billion budget.
Over the last 20 years, Iowa’s lieutenant governors have filled that role in different ways, overseeing state initiatives on education, health care, economic development, and homeland security. Over the last six years, Gov. Reynolds took on numerous leadership roles in the administration. Among other things, she:
- Brought STEM education to the forefront as the co-chair of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council;
- Chaired the Iowa Energy Plan, a continuing project that brought all stakeholders together to create a roadmap for Iowa’s energy future;
- Chaired the Future Ready Iowa Alliance, an initiative to prepare Iowa’s workforce for the demands of the new economy;
- Co-chaired the Iowa Partnership on Economic Progress;
- Chaired the Iowa National Guard Children of Fallen Iowa Services Members Scholarship;
- Led an international trade mission every year;
- Led country-wide trade missions;
- Served as honorary chair of the Economic Potential for Iowa Companies (EPIC) Board;
- Served as the Governor’s designee on the Iowa State Fair Board;
- Served as honorary chair, in Iowa and nationally, of Million Women Mentors;
- Served as an honorary board member of the Iowa Network Against Human Trafficking
Those were just some of Gov. Reynolds individual roles. In her past role, she was also a full governing partner, offering leadership and guidance on legislation and policies that brought more Iowans to the workforce than ever before.
In short, the duties of the lieutenant governor are varied, but they are vital to the operation and governance of this State.
Q: Why is Lt. Gov. Gregg performing the duties of the Office of Lt. Governor in an acting capacity?
A: In December, Attorney General Tom Miller concluded that once Gov. Branstad resigned, then-Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds would become governor and could appoint a new lieutenant governor who would be in the line of succession. Five months later, and on the eve of then-Gov. Branstad’s Senate hearing, the Attorney General reversed his opinion, stating that Gov. Reynolds holds both offices (governor and lieutenant governor) at the same time.
As Gov. Reynolds, the Secretary of State and others have explained, that is wrong; in fact, it directly conflicts with Iowa law. But however wrong it is, the Attorney General’s reversal of opinion means that the appointment of a full lieutenant governor would lead to a costly and unnecessary lawsuit over who would be second in the line of succession (an issue that simply doesn’t matter as long as Gov. Reynolds continues to serve.)
As a result, Gov. Reynolds has chosen to designate Adam Gregg as lieutenant governor with full scope and title with one important and discernable difference: he will not be in the line of succession. That means that the administration can focus on what matters most—building a better Iowa.
Q: Other than the line of succession, how does this acting role differ from the usual lieutenant governor role?
A: There will be very little difference. Unless traveling with Gov. Reynolds, Lt. Gov. Gregg will not be transported by the State Trooper unit assigned to the Governor’s Office. But he will otherwise fulfill the role of lieutenant governor in the way that Iowans have come to expect. He will lead state initiatives, and he will be a full governing partner with Gov. Reynolds. His salary will be $103,212, the amount set by statute for the lieutenant governor, and that salary will continue to be paid out of the Governor’s Office budget based upon the existing appropriation.